The effects Covid 19 on Tourism, Tim Brown Tours and what have we been doing to survive the Corona virus pandemic.
There is no question that Covid 19 or the Corona Virus has single handedly driven the Tourism industry into the ground globally.
South African tourism, Durban tourism and we at Tim Brown Tours have had to put on our Lion vision during this very dark time.
This virus was something that no one in any industry could escape without something better than human vision!
Much longer than we thought …
Many of our competitors fell away over the past two years. Some moved into other fields to make ends meet and support the family.
I remember having conversations with colleagues where we were estimating that it should be 6 months to a year without clients… Well, boys were we wrong!
I remember recently joking with myself …. While I went on my own family Safari from Durban … that I can’t recall the last time I had to personally pay to see animals!
Thinking back a little to 6 months ago….
I would not have made any jokes then! To be honest, the effects of Covid 19, affected us all mentally. It is very depressing when you have bills to pay and can no longer provide for your family.
So what did Tim Brown Tours do during this time when the Corona Virus ripped our tourism industry apart?
It was and still is at times the most depressing thing that has ever happened to us. Having to lay off staff members was a very painful experience.
What it really took – the LOW LOW down on the COVID impact
We had to turn off our vehicle insurance policies, take out loans to ride the wave.
Pushing PAUSE …
Safaris to South Africa and Durban just totally ceased.
We just had to
- cut costs wherever we could,
- focus on our families and
- push the “pause” button on touring for a couple of years.
So what did Tim Brown do while Covid 19 turned the light to Darkness?
Time for a pair of Lion Eyes…
To be honest it was not easy and we had to stand strong like Isihlahla somdlebe (Umdlebe tree or Euphorbia tree).
Tick Tock past 18months of NO Tourism Business
So by some miracle after a year and a half of trying to sell nature videos I met with a friend who introduced me to sales women for a medical company. This company was selling SARS-COV-2 Rapid antigen tests.
After qualifying to conduct the COVID19 tests I decided to open a drive-thu testing station. At this point, I realised I had no idea how I was going to do this but as with Tim Brown Tours, I just found a way. I was super lucky to meet with a family who so kindly allowed me to utilise their land to open up a drive-thru testing station.
Starting Small. Start at the Beginning
As you can imagine you start small and at the beginning. We had a Gazebo which lasted ONE week ! Then a second one which lasted 2 weeks. By this point, we had no choice but to erect a Wendy hut.This solved the massive issue we had with the wind destroying our Gazebo.
It worked well and then … the summer rains came. The result was a mud pool right in front of our Hut. SAY WHAT! After staff slipping and a car getting stuck in the mud, we decided to move the hut to a section of the land where this issue would be solved. Thank goodness it worked!
After Omicron calmed down testing became quiet. At the point of writing this article, we plodded along conducting from as little as 8 -15 tests a day. I always say even a small profit is fine as it creates a few jobs and helps others as well as my family.
At last, after 2 years of no business in tourism in March 2022, we finally began to get bookings. Tourism was waking up and starting once again!
I am truly grateful for the opportunity gained by doing Covid 19 testing. It helped us to stay around and helped my family (who had a number of issues that have cost massive amounts of money to “Solve”.)
Tourism I hope and pray is here to stay once again. My passion and my guide’s passion will now be able to flow into giving our clients an amazing Durban South African Safari experience!
Tim Brown Tours - with numerous awards and a long history of great reviews on TripAdvisor, can help you. So look at our alternatives to visiting the Kruger National Park. And join us for your South African Safari experience! We look forward to hosting you in the near future! Book Now and get an experience of a lifetime.
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